Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Elegant Family Estate on Very Private Two Mile Beach.

Bedrooms 4
Space 1,750 sq. ft.
Property type estate
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

4 Bedrooms or 11 Bedrooms

The Big House is located in the center of Parsons Beach, a two mile private beach and perhaps the most dramatic stretch of beautiful sandy beaches in southern Maine. Parsons Beach – a private family enclave – has been in the Parsons family for hundreds of years and remains unspoiled to this day – and yet is only 90 minutes from Boston and 40 minutes from Portland, Maine.

Casual elegance, timeless architecture, a superb location, make this magnificiant home the ideal choice for a relaxing getaway, active vacation, family celebration or business retreat. Whether you enjoy sports, shopping, historical adventures or just plain adventure, the Kennebunk Coastal area abounds with something for everyone

Rentals are available by referral by friends and family. .

Long-time Executive Producer of 'This Old House' - Bruce Irving - states:

“The Big House is, in my opinion, one of the finest examples of seaside architecture on the East Coast. An act of defiance on its exposed, wind- and spray-swept point, it's the quintessential weathered New England house paired with an equally hardy lone pine. It's an icon that captures man's complex relationship with the land and ocean.”

Perched on a rock-bound promontory overlooking the ocean on the private acreage of Parsons Beach in Kennebunk, The Big House may very well be the most picturesque—and probably the grandest— house on the East Coast: The annex part of the home has 4 bedrooms, an elegant library, livingroom, kitchen and dining room. The annex has a private entrance and private living quarters to accommodate a family of 6. Interior details such as its hand-crafted wood floors (inlay designs) and crown moldings further underscore its grandeur. Because it offers one mile of private beach on either side of its promontory, called Hart’s Rocks, it is unique among coastal dwellings.

The Big House also has a proud but little-known history. Built in its present location in the 1888 by Charles Parsons, the house has remained in the family through several generations. It has also provided summertime shelter and beach recreation to American presidents, business leaders, and celebrities: Cole Porter and Humphrey Parsons, classmates at Yale, vacationed there, staying in what is now the Annex. (Most recently, former President George Bush enjoys fishing near Hart’s Rock because the Mousam River flows into the ocean there. Through the decades, children, sunbathers, joggers, fishermen, pleasure boats skirting the shore, seals sunbathing on rock outcrops, and guests have all brought the summer scene to life for the family.

More Details

Audrey Zahares
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 5, 2018

Why Audrey Zahares chose Kennebunk

Parsons Beach is one of the finest beaches in Maine. The sand is soft, white and plentiful. The surf comes and goes with beautiful breaking waves that it keeps you mindful, but perhaps the best part of this mile long beach is privacy. Sometimes you may even find yourself alone when you take a morning or evening walk.

At the far end of Crescent Surf Beach is a conservation area for Least Terns and Piping Plovers donated to the Rachel Carson Preserve. Beyond the nesting birds, warmer waters of Little River head to the sea twice daily. Fishermen cast off the shore or wade out to catch strippers at Little River; they fish from Hart's Rocks in front of the Big House or at neighboring Mousam River.


Kennebunk Estate Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • estate
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1750 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beach
  • Beachfront
  • Oceanfront
  • Waterfront
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking
  • Security System
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Kitchen
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub
  • One of the favorite ammenities of the Big House Guests is the out door shower. Steaming water rains down--in this most eclectic of outdoor showers. The air is fragrant with the scent of the ocean, warmth lacing the breeze. You close the spigot for a moment, listening to miles of waves crashing. This is no ordinary shower. The indoor baths will bring you back in time with marble vanities and antique footed soaking tub. The modern showers and pristine details will accommodate even the most discerning guest.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 king , 1 queen , 2 twin/ single , 2nd Floor
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double , 2nd Floor
    Bedroom 4 - 1 king , 2nd Floor
  • Absorb feelings of serenity as you gaze upon the sails of the boats passing by your window; the charm of the deserted beach and seagulls soaring playfully. All the rooms feature a mix of the original antique furniture to modern amenities and bedding. Experience the fresh sea air, natural sounds of the sea and beautiful water views from every bedroom. Simple and elegant; these rooms are all very light and airy, all with several windows, refinished hard wood floors. All rooms are beautifully appointed.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Gated Community
  • Kayak / Canoe
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Entertainment Area
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Small Cooler
  • Terrace
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • autumn foliage
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • water parks
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
We do offer private chefs, maid service, concierge services for additional fees.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(8 traveler reviews)

100% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
0% Complete
Elegant Family Estate on Very Private Two Mile Beach.
average rating of 5.0 based on 8 reviews


  • 5 of 5

We just returned from a few days at the Big House in Kennebunk, ME and we already miss the amazing sunrises on the porch with our coffee, early walks on Crescent Beach, the surf lulling us to sleep and awake. We love all the special touches...great table books, family photos, lovely antiques, comfy beds and so many other things that make the Big House the perfect, comfortable home away. The cozy fire pit, outside dining table, lounge chairs and large kitchen table encourage family conversation early and late into the night, the puzzle crowd and game players enjoyed flowing in and out of the great room and other sitting rooms. I adore the floor border, the reading nook and imagining how generations have enjoyed that fantastic, historic room since the 1890's. The view from the dining room is spectacular....every where one roams the view is awe inspiring.. Even with our large family there were always quiet places where one could get lost in a good book. We explored every venue and could not choose which one we loved best. The teens, young kids and the young at heart all enjoyed playing sand soccer, football, making sand structures, surfing, running, beach walking and sighting a beached baby seal returning to his family. We collected memories in a few days that will last for the rest of our lives. We are grateful to have been able to enjoy this paradise found.

  • Submitted: Aug 23, 2011
  • Stayed: June 2011
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
3 0

The Greater Gatsby

  • 5 of 5

The Big House is what F. Scott Fitzgerald would have envisioned had his novel been set on the Maine Coast. Even the road leading to the property felt as special as Augusta's Magnolia Lane. Newly renovated, with old-world charm and views from every room; The BIg House transported me to a place I never wanted to leave. Crashing waves helped me sleep like a child, and the hosts made me feel like it was my home. I thought places like this only existed in movies until now.

  • Submitted: Jun 20, 2011
  • Stayed: June 2011
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
2 1
United States

The most beautiful home in Maine

  • 5 of 5

I am lucky enough to have been to this iconic Maine home on Parsons Beach a couple of times. The views are beyond breath taking and it is the perfect sanctuary to spend time with family and friends. There is nothing more amazing than waking up here and enjoying a cup of coffee on the spectacular front lawn over looking the beach. The house itself is so beautifully decorated with panoramic views of the water, beach, and sunset. There is a fireplace in the living room that just makes for the perfect setting for cocktails in the evening while you watch the tide roll in. Did i mention the awesome fire pit outside as well? I cant say enough wonderful things about this home, its beyond amazing!:):):)

  • Submitted: Jun 19, 2011
  • Stayed: June 2011
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
3 1

A Seaside Blockbuster

  • 5 of 5

If Scarlett O'Hara moved to Maine, she'd live here. This seaside Tara blends state-of-the-art amenities with old world majesty. A stone's throw from hipster Kennebunkport, the real magic of this uber private estate lies in the crashing waves just outside your master suite. Simply priceless.

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2010
  • Stayed: July 2010
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
3 2
Rumson New Jersey

"The Big House " is a gem at the sea.

  • 5 of 5

My family and I had the extraordinary opportunity to stay at this fabulous estate on the beach. The home has beautiful "original" hardwood floors dating back more than 100yrs , coffered ceilings, and fantastic ocean views. Tons of windows invite morning sun and spectacular sunsets. This home is truly special ! The pictures (as nice as they are) do not do this home justice.

This Big House is ideal for those who seek privacy but don't want to sacrifice convenience. Ideal for family and friend gatherings. We can't wait to go back.

  • Submitted: Jul 25, 2010
  • Stayed: July 2009
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
4 3
Wayland, MA

Incredible views/sparkling interior

  • 5 of 5

We had a spectacular stay at the “Big House”. Every room is warm and inviting with panoramic views of the sea. It is perfectly and simply decorated with gleaming wood floors, clean bright colors and sun reflected from the ocean everywhere. While this house is certainly elegant, it is also great for families with children of all ages. All 21 of us had a blast!

  • Submitted: Jun 2, 2010
  • Stayed: April 2010
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
1 1


Nearest Airport
40 Miles
Portland International Jet Port
Nearest Barpub
4 Miles
Kennebunkport Village
Nearest Golf
3 Miles
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Wells Maine
Nearest Motorway
8 Miles
Maine Turnpike 95
Nearest Restaurant
4 Miles
Kennebunkport Village
Car: recommended

Just 90 miles north of Boston, there's a glorious little corner of Maine where lobstermen still command the sea, where shop owners greet their visitors like long-lost friends and where the time-warp charm of New England's old-world fishing villages takes us back to simpler times – back when leisurely summer evenings were spent on front porches enjoying soft ocean breezes. Welcome to the pristine seaside community of Kennebunk– worlds away from the stress of everyday living. Recapture childhood memories of sun-drenched days spent at the beach. Renew your sense of adventure by cruising out of Cape Porpoise on a working lobster boat, fly-fishing on the Mousam River or shopping at the wonderful little stores in the village. Let our small-town community spirit become part of the fabric of your life – for a day or for a lifetime.

Other Activities: Kayaking


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $3,000
Cleaning Fee $1,500

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

You might like these similar properties